Kick-off event – Brussels

    February 22, 2018 - February 23, 2018

    On Thursday and Friday 22 and 23 February 2018, the SERV hosted the kick-off event for the transnational ESF-project ‘Social partners on the digital fast track’.

    Mr. Hans Maertens, president of SERV, welcomed no less than 80 participants for an interesting study morning on digitalisation and robotisation. Among the participants not only representatives from the Flemish social partners, the Flemish Government, academia, sectoral organisations and other invited experts, but also the international partners in the ESF-project from Germany, Spain, France and the Czech Republic.

    Peter Van Humbeeck and Tim Buyse from the SERV study-department presented the ongoing SERV activities on digitalisation and the recently published vision statement of the Flemish social partners on the topic. After a short break, Robert Went, economist at the Netherlands Scientific Council for government policy, held a keynote lecture on ‘Robots, artificial intelligence and the future of work’.

    On Thursday afternoon, the Flemish social partners and the international partnership held interesting discussions and workshops to explain not ony the different organisations’ ongoing activities on digitalisation and robotisation but also to prepare the upcoming roundtables and study visits on various topics (labour market, skills and competences, regional economic policy; social dialogue). The day was concluded by a networking diner.

    During the second day of the kick-off event, the representatives from the Flemish social partners and the international participants visited Janssen Pharmaceutica for a hand on experience about the impact of digitalisation at the company level. In the presence of representatives of the employees at the company, Tom Aelbrecht, head of the Janssen Campus Office (JCO) and chairman of the Voka Industry Forum, explained the functioning, activities and investment policy of Janssen Pharmaceutica and the group Johnson & Johnson and zoomed in on the impact of digitalisation on the organisation.